Dear PoPville – Advice on Fighting a Parking Ticket

Photo by PoPville flickr user [F]oxymoron

Dear PoPville,

I received a parking ticket on September 3, 2011 at 3:23 am in a residential parking zone in front of my house . The original violation was “fail prop affix stk”. I requested a hearing by mail with evidence to support my case. On January 12, 2012, I finally received a ruling by mail. The letter states that I am liable for “obstruction of tags”. This is a totally different violation. I immediately checked the ticket number and it was the same. Somehow during the process of requesting a hearing by the mail the original violation was changed in error. On January 13, 2012, I made a trip to adjudication services to ask that violation be reversed. After an hour, I was told that no one there had the authority to reverse the ruling and that only the hearing examiner can reverse the ruling, even if it was in error. I was told to write a hand written note to the hearing examiner asking for reconsideration. According to the letter I received, I must pay the $50 ticket by February 5th to avoid tags my being suspended.

What recourse do I have here? Right now I’m waiting to hear back from a hearing examiner that may or may not have received my hand written note. I have already written my council person. I am wondering if any of your reader have any suggestions. Has this happened to anyone else?

18 Comment

  • contact your counsel member.

  • You now need to go to Traffic Adjudication in person with all your evidence and speak with someone. I received a parking ticket once for parking in an area where the sign stated “One hour Parking Zone 2”. I had a residential zone 2 sticker, so I simply took a picture of my sticker, went to the DC gov site and used their own information to prove my case. The ticket was dropped and I did it via mail. Never dispute parking matters in the city via mail unless you have rock solid evidence to prove your case. Also, some of the parking enforcement folks appear to have a much more difficult time reading the signs then the average citizen. Therefore, you end up with a ticket you never deserved in the first place which happened in my case. Good Luck!

  • I’m echoing the councilmember suggestion.

    I literally today complained to Jim Graham’s office and had them work with the DMV to reverse a parking ticket that was made in error. It was reversed within two hours.

    Your councilmember is there to help you deal with errors and issues arising local government.

    • ah

      What a terrible system this city has that the best results are achieved by pestering CMs.

      On the other hand, perhaps it keeps them away from doing more destructive and corrupt things.

      • I was thinking the same thing, now I know why I can’t get help me with the issue I’m having with excessive trash cans in my alley. They are busy taking care of tickets! Who knew?

  • Another example of why I never fight parking tickets in the city. Is all this headache worth the $50?

  • you’re better off sticking a knitting needle up your nose than dealing with anyone in the DC gov’t

    • Hey… I work for DC Government and I work hard every day on behalf of the residents of the District of Columbia. Instead of complaing about how bad DC services are, why not come and work for DC and make it better??

  • Go to the adjudication services at 8am when they open (or maybe 8:30), sit on the chairs for an in-person hearing, and explain to the judge what happened. He will likely reverse the fine.

    I have only heard horror stories about mail-in adjudication (except for fitness872) and have never tried that. But I have had several tickets overturned by the judges.

  • 1) If you are going to appeal a ticket in DC, ALWAYS do it in person.
    2) If there is no moving violation and no points on your record, why not just pay the $50? Surely 2 hours of your time (if you are lucky that’s how long it will take- can easily be longer) is worth more than $50.

  • I had great luck with mail in adjudication: 1. A parking ticket for street cleaning at an address that did not exist. The block only goes to XX14 and the ticket was for XX76! Dismissed. 2. The entered my plate number but my car was a VW. I don’t drive a VW. Dismissed.

  • Yeah… I just got a ticket for a zone 7 violation parked near Barrack’s Row. Uhhh… it’s zone 6 there brainiac.

    I’ll contest it, they’ll ignore it, it will double and Harry’s cohorts will steal it.

  • Just bend over and pay the $50.

  • It sounds like the OP already visited the Adjudication service, with no luck in getting the ticket overturned. At this point, you need to appeal the Adjudicator’s decision to the Traffic Adjudication Appeals Board. Information on how to do so can be found here:

  • sucky situation OP and i don’t envy you. general thought — i’ve had two tickets thrown out after I wrote long detailed explanations in the mail… one was running a red and the other was not stopping at a stop sign. its possible to have success writing in and I do suggest everyone do it, even for 50 bucks.

  • I would highly recommend the online adjudication. I have had great luck overturning utterly ridiculous tickets. Providing a full explanation seems to work, and if you have a photo, that will do wonders for your case. On a semi-related note, there is a totaled car in my neighborhood that has been at a metered spot since Sat/Sun and is clearly a hit and run/abandoned vehicle. And how many tickets do they have? One measly ticket, hasn’t been towed. How’s that for fair ticketing practices.

  • Welcome to the Third World

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